Celebrates book’s release at Reid Campus Center on Nov. 22

WALLAWALLA, Wash.— Whitman College is hosting a book release party to celebrate the publication of the much-anticipated book, “Where the Great River Bends: A natural and human history of the Columbia at Wallula,” edited by Professor of Geology and Environmental Studies Bob Carson, and written in conjunction with four of his colleagues.

Where the Great River Bends

The publishers, editors and most of the book’s contributors will gather for this historic event on Saturday, Nov. 22, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Young Ballroom, Reid Campus Center, 280 Boyer Ave., Whitman College campus.

Copies of the 240-page soft cover book, which retails for $35, will be for sale and Carson and other contributors will be autographing copies. Hors d’oeuvres will be served; Vintage will perform live music; and Reininger Winery will host a complimentary wine tasting.

“Where the Great River Bends” highlights Wallula Gap, where geography has defined history, marked by the narrowing of the mighty Columbia River halfway between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Loaded with more than 200 black-and-white and color illustrations, the book covers everything about this area symbolized by a unique geologic feature, the Twin Sisters. Here the Ice Age floods rushed through, Native Americans lived, fur trappers traded and railroads thrived, making it an important historical and cultural landmark in the West’s awesomelandscape.

As part of the book release celebration, Carson will lead a field trip, free and open to the public, departing from the Harper Joy Theatre parking lot (on the Whitman campus between Isaacs Ave.and Park St.) at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21. Participants will be grouped into carpools bound for Wallula gap, 30 miles west of Walla Walla, where Carson will lead an interpretive geological tour drawn from the book’s first appendix (Wallula Gap Road Log, page 177).

“Where the River Bends” captures Wallula’s extraordinary landscape with dozens of historic photographs and modern-day images contributed by seven photographers. Contributors to the book include Robert Baker, John Clement, Paul Clement, Michael E. Denny, Catherine E. Dickson, Lawrence L. Dodd, D. Thomas Edwards, Kathryn Farrell Guizar, Dianne Kornberg and Donald Snow.

Alex McGregor, a regional historian and businessman and the author of “Counting Sheep,” describes the book as “a lively account and a welcome addition to our knowledge of the Columbia Plateau — as seen by historian, a geologist, a botanist, an archaeologist and photographers whose striking illustrations showvisual evidence of a remarkable land.”

The book release party is sponsored by Whitman College, Keokee Books, Reininger Winery and the bookstore at Whitman Mission NationalHistoric Site.For more information call Keokee Books at 208-263-3573 or go to www.KeokeeBooks.com. The field trip andthe book release party are free and open to the public.



Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156, parishlj@whitman.edu or
Bob Carson, Professor of Geology and Environmental Studies, (509) 527-5224, carsonrj@whitman.edu